A source of inspiration

In today’s world there are unfulfilled aesthetic needs. Poetry can meet this need if its social role of interpersonal communication is recognized and it continues to be the means of arousing and expressing awareness. Over the past 30 years there has been a strong revival of interest in poetry, with a proliferation of poetic activities in the world and an increase in the number of poets.

Through its words and its rhythm, poetry gives shape to our dreams of peace, justice and dignity, and gives us the strength and desire to mobilize to make them real.  

  Irina Bokova, Director General
Message on Poetry Day 2014

It is a social need, which incites young people in particular to return to their roots, and a means whereby they can look into themselves at a time when the outside world is irresistibly luring them away from themselves. Moreover, as an individual, the poet is taking on a new role as the public becomes more and more appreciative of poetry evenings with readings by the poets themselves.

This shift in society towards the recognition of ancestral values also represents a return to the oral tradition and an acceptance of speech as a means of socializing and structuring the individual. There is still a tendency in the media and among the general public to refuse to take the poet seriously. Action is needed to free ourselves in order to make this image a thing of the past and to give poetry its rightful place in society.

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POETS CELEBRATED IN 2014

 

Cecília Meireles (Brazil)

50th anniversary of the death of Cecília Meireles, poet (1901-1964)


Augusto dos Anjos (Brazil)

100th anniversary of the death of Augusto dos Anjos, poet (1884-1914)


Peyo Yavorov (Bulgaria)

100th anniversary of the death of Peyo Yavorov, poet and playwright (1878-1914)


Zadi Zaourou (Côte d'Ivoire)

50th anniversary of the intellectual career of Professor Zadi Zaourou, politician and writer (1938-2012) 


Antun Gustav Matoš (Croatia)

100th anniversary of the death of Antun Gustav Matoš, poet and writer (1873-1914)

Complete list of anniversaries

Join the celebration

  • Support poetry by buying the collections of young poets

  • Invite your friends to improve both conventional and slam poetry

  • Learn from the proverbs of your country, and discover the poetic teachings of others

  • Read up about riddles, limericks and sonnets to liven up your evenings

  • Fight against the outdated image of poetry

  • Encourage your kids to read and write their own poetry during family gatherings

  • Awaken the poet inside of you and impress your friends with your creativity, inventiveness and imagination

  • Support poetry on radio, in magazine columns and feature films!

POEMS FOR PEACE

The Lake Isle Of Innisfree (William Butler Yeats)

I WILL arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
(read in full)


Épitaphe (Léopold Sédar Senghor)

When I'm dead, my friends,
Place me below Shadowy Joal,
On the hill, by the bank of the Mamanguedy,
Near the ear of Serpents' Sanctuary.
(read in full)


Sonnet XLVIII (Pablo Neruda - 1904-1973)

Two happy lovers make one bread,
a single moon drop in the grass.
Walking, they cast two shadows that flow together;
waking, they leave one sun empty in their bed.
(read in full)


Death and the river (Bader Chakir Al-Sayyab)

Buwayb BuwaybBells of a tower lost in the sea bed dusk in the trees, water in the jars.
(read in full)


Conversation with grandson (Samuil Marshak)

I called my grandson playing in the yard through an open window:
-What kind of game are you playing? - Underwater warfare!
-Warfare? Why do you need war? Listen, captain,
Nations do not need war. Why don't you better play peace?
(read in full)


Poem For Wei Ba (Du Fu)

Often a man's life is suchthat he seldom sees his friends,like the constellations Shen and Shangwhich never share this lamp light ?
(read in full)